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Franklin Templeton MF senior officials, trustee fined Rs 15 crore; AMC to move SAT

The regulator has slapped a fine of Rs 3 crore on Franklin Templeton Trustee Services Pvt Ltd and Rs 2 crore each on Sapre and chief investment officer Santosh Kamat.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai |
June 15, 2021 3:13:53 am
Sebi said the trustees of Franklin Templeton MF and officials failed to avert certain lapses in its functioning.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Monday imposed a penalty totalling Rs 15 crore on senior officials of Franklin Templeton AMC, including president Sanjay Sapre, and its trustee for violating regulatory norms in the case of winding up of six credit risk schemes in 2020.

The regulator has slapped a fine of Rs 3 crore on Franklin Templeton Trustee Services Pvt Ltd and Rs 2 crore each on Sapre and chief investment officer Santosh Kamat. In addition, the regulator imposed a penalty of Rs 1.5 crore each on fund managers — Kunal Agarwal, Pallab Roy, Sachin Padwal Desai and Umesh Sharma — as well as former fund manager Sumit Gupta.

Besides, a Rs 50 lakh penalty has been levied on chief compliance officer Saurabh Gangrade.

However, Franklin Templeton said they disagree with the findings in Sebi’s order and intend to file an appeal with the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).

In three separate orders, the regulator imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Mywish Marketplaces, Rs 25 lakh on Jayaram S Iyer, Rs 45 lakh on Venkata Radhakrishnan and Rs 5 lakh on Malathi Radhakrishnan for redeeming their mutual fund units before the schemes were wound up.

Sebi noted that Vivek Kudva, head of Asia Pacific (APAC) for Franklin Templeton AMC, and Alok Sethi, director at Franklin Templeton Trustees, were directors on the board of Mywish Marketplaces. They have been penalised for redeeming their units while in possession of non-public information with respect to stress in the debt schemes.

The market regulator said the trustees of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund (MF) and these officials failed to avert certain lapses in the functioning of the mutual fund. “The acts and deeds committed by them while discharging their duties are not in the interest of the unitholders in specific and the investors in general,” Sebi said in its 151-page order.

FT officials did not exercise proper due diligence while discharging their responsibilities at the relevant time and violated the regulatory requirements, which hampered the interest of the unitholders, it said.

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